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Ode to Diversity 

-Maite Castellano Menchaca, MATTIP student from Spain

Tolerance among diverse cultures, languages, and beliefs is an essential quality for promoting peace in the world. Humans should consider tolerance as a foundational value for fostering peaceful international relationships. 

The qualities of diversity and tolerance are aspects I appreciate in my class environment. One of the highlights of my MA course is undoubtedly my classmates, who form a wonderful blend of individuals from all corners of the globe. Our class embodies a rich variety of cultures and backgrounds, with students hailing from Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Russia, the United States, and China, representing an array of experiences and perspectives. 

All students have dedicated years to the study and practice of Buddhism, bringing a wealth of knowledge and insight to our discussions. Within our group, we also find adherents of various traditions such as Sakya, Nyingma, Gelug, and Kagyu, fostering a diverse representation of Buddhist schools in our classes. 

Furthermore, each member possesses a unique area of expertise, which serves as the focus of their respective MA thesis research. Whether it be Pramana, Madhyamika, Termas, Biographies, or other topics, the breadth of interests exhibited underscores the non-sectarian and ecumenical environment that enriches our learning experience. 

However, despite the great diversity in the group, it prevails a feeling of tolerance, respect, acceptance, and appreciation for each other. I have the feeling that somehow, we support, inspire, and encourage each other in the academic journey of our MA, which might be challenging at times. 

Personally, I hold deep admiration and appreciation for each and every one of my classmates. I consider them all to be exceptionally bright individuals, and I am confident in their potential to contribute significantly to the preservation of Buddhist teachings, both within traditional and academic settings. 

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